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11 States That Do Not Protect Children In Nigeria.

11 States That Does Not Protect Children In Nigeria.

11 States That Do Not Protect Children In Nigeria. Daily Law Tips (Tip 800) by Onyekachi Umah, Esq., LL.M, ACIArb(UK)


Child Rights in Nigeria are rights that are specially designed to protect and care for persons that are less than 18 years in Nigeria. Every year on 27 May, Nigeria celebrates its annual Children’s Day. To protect children in Nigeria, the federal legislature made a federal law (the Child’s Right Act) in 2003. Since the Constitution of Nigeria allows states in Nigeria to make laws on issues of children and welfare, arguably, it means that the Federal Government of Nigeria cannot make federal laws on such issues on behalf of States. Hence, many states in Nigeria were persuaded to enact their own Child’s Right Laws (which seems like the Child’s Right Act) to ensure that children are protected in all parts of Nigeria.

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Unfortunately, since 2003 till date, about 11 States in Nigeria have refused to enact Child’s Right Laws, even as the states celebrate children’s day every year and record very high cases of child abuse. This work reveals the 11 States in Nigeria that have failed and refused to protect the rights of children, by not having a Child’s Right Law. It further shows the harsh realities of the children living in the 11 Anti-Child Rights States in Nigeria.

The Anti-Child Rights States in Nigeria:

Whether for religious or political reasons, out of the 36 States in Nigeria, about 11 States have refused to make laws that protect children. Since 2003 that the federal legislature made the Child’s Right Act and the States in Nigeria have been urged to enact similar laws by the stakeholders. However, 11 States in the Northern part of Nigeria have been without Child’s Right Laws. The said 11 States are from the same Geo-Political Zones in Nigeria and have alarming cases of child abuse. 

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According to Child Rights Act Tracker of the Partners West Africa Nigeria, the following states in Nigeria that are yet to enact a Child’s Right Law for their states; are Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, Jigawa, Kano, Katsina, Kebbi, Sokoto, Yobe and Zamfara states. The 11 States are from the North West and the North East Geo-Political zones of Nigeria. 

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It must be mentioned that Jigawa State legislature was reported to be considering its Child’s Right Law  to pass it into law, as at 8 September 2020 but there is no information or proof that the state has completed its legislative processes and passed the bill into law. In an earlier publication, the PremiumTimes, citing the UNICEF, confirmed that; “At least 11 northern states in Nigeria are yet to pass a child rights law despite its obvious benefits for children, a child protection specialist with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), Sharon Oladiji, has said. The states are Bauchi, Yobe, Kano, Sokoto, Adamawa, Borno, Zamfara, Gombe, Katsina, Kebbi, and Jigawa.”

Child Abuse in the Anti-Child Rights States: 

To understand the harsh realities of children in the 11 States that have no Child’s Right Laws, there is need to reproduce the reports of stakeholders, on this issue. 

“Due to pressure exerted on children to marry young in Northern Nigeria, 48 per cent of Hausa-Fulani girls are married by age 15, and 78 per cent are married by age 18.” Tim S Braimah citing the United Nations Population Fund.

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“The Gombe State Co-ordinator, National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), Mohammed Ayuba, made the appeal in an interview with News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Gombe State; “He said the dignity of every girl child was at stake if this menace was not properly addressed with the right laws in place, saying “convicting culprits is difficult because of the absence of the Act. According to him, child rape is becoming alarming and a major concern for NHRC in Gombe State. “The government should for the sake of the girl child domesticate the child rights act. This act will go a long way to address the threats against the girl child that are being almost endangered.” Premium Times

In Gombi, Adamawa State, “The data revealed that respondents commenced childbearing between 14 and 18 years of age and 71% had experienced at least one serious pregnancy or birth-related health problem which include excessive bleeding during labour (19.0%), obstructed and/or prolonged labour (49.0%), frequent miscarriages (12.0%) and prolonged sickness after childbirth (20%) …” Olaide Adedokun, Oluwagbemiga Adeyemi, and Cholli Dauda.

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“Violence mostly takes place in mixed-religious communities (almost 80% of respondents), and women (32%), youth (29%), and children (29%) are most affected. The most common types of incidents are believed to be rape, followed by arbitrary detention and torture.” Chom Bagu,

“Millions of children in northern Nigeria live in very precarious circumstances, many away from their families. These children are extremely vulnerable to the influence of those who offer them even meagre sustenance. UNICEF deplores the exploitation of vulnerable children, which so often ends in tragedy. According to the results of a survey released by the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development earlier this month, nearly one-quarter of all children in Nigeria—some 17.5 million—are orphans or vulnerable in other ways. The burden of orphans and vulnerable children in Nigeria, the survey found, “is higher than in countries at war such as Sudan, Somalia and the Democratic Republic of Congo and those with high HIV prevalence rates in Southern and Eastern Africa.” UNICEF

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ZAMFARA State Governor, Abdul’aziz Yari Abubakar has called for concerted efforts and well-designed strategies to overcome the menace of child labour across Nigeria. The governor made the appeal yesterday at the World Day Against Child Labour organised by Zamfara State office of Federal Ministry of Labour and Productivity, Gusau. In his remark, Save the Children representative, Alhaji Ibrahim appealed to the state government for the adoption of Child right act which according to him would ensure full enforcement of law related to child abuse, and promote their rights.” TheGuardian

“Nigeria has the largest number of child brides in Africa with more than 23 million girls and women who were married as children, most of them from poor and rural communities.” UNICEF

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“The 2008 Nigerian Demographic and Health Survey estimated that 48% of girls in northern Nigeria were married off by the age of 15, while 78% were married before their 18th birthday. The survey put the median age of marriage in the north-western region at 15.2 years of age.” Soyinka.


The greatest of all problems and challenges in Nigeria and Africa, is the lack of rule of law. Where and when there is rule of law, all citizens and institutions will operate optimally and lawfully. The present-day Nigeria is far from adhering to the rule of law. It is worse in states and parts of Nigeria, where there are no laws. Imagine a State in Nigeria where it is not an offence to marry a child – although the child suffers-, the adults that participated in the marriage cannot be arrested or prosecuted under any law in the states. Part of rule of law is to have good laws and it is the duty of government to make laws that will protect children and not pedophiles, that wreck children and the future of the states. 

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Citizens, political leaders, traditional leaders, religious leaders, pressure groups, the National Human Rights Commission, Civil Society Organizations, international agencies and activists must come to the aid of children that are in the anti-child’s right states of Nigeria (Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, Jigawa, Kano, Katsina, Kebbi, Sokoto, Yobe and Zamfara states). Children should be protected and cared for in all States and parts of Nigeria. Injustice to a child, is injustice to all. There will be no Nigeria, if there are no safe children in all parts of Nigeria.  

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My authorities, are:

  1. Sections 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 33 to 45, 318 and 319 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999.
  2. Sections 1, 2, 3, 4 to 277 and 278 of the Child’s Right Act and the Child Rights Laws in states in Nigeria. 
  3. Tim S. Braimah, “Child marriage in Northern Nigeria: Section 61 of Part I of the 1999 Constitution and the protection of children against child marriage” [2014] 24(2) AHRLJ <> accessed 30 May 2021, citing United Nations Population Fund ‘Early marriage in Nigeria’ nigeirachild.html (accessed 10 August 2013).
  4. Olaide Adedokun, Oluwagbemiga Adeyemi, and Cholli Dauda, “Child marriage and maternal health risks among young mothers in Gombi, Adamawa State, Nigeria: implications for mortality, entitlements and freedoms” (2016) 16(4) African Health Science <> accessed 30 May 2021
  5. Chom Bagu, “BASELINE REPORT: Constructing Coalitions to Reduce Human Rights Abuse by Security Forces in Northern Nigeria” (SFCG, 2014) <> accessed 30 May 2021 
  6. UNICEF, “UNICEF laments death of children in Bauchi, and deplores the exploitation of vulnerable children” (UNICEF, 30 December 2009) <> accessed 20 May 2021
  7. Isah Ibrahim Gusau, Zamfara Raises Concern Over Child Labour Menace” (TheGuardian, 13 June 2015) <> accessed 30 May 2021
  8. UNICEF, “Child Protection” (UNICEF) <> accessed 27 May 2021
  9. “Committee on Rights of Child examines report of Nigeria” (ReliefWeb, 26 May 2010) <> accessed 27 May 2021.
  10. Adejuwon Soyinka,“There are still huge gaps in Nigeria’s efforts to protect children” (theconverstion, 24 November 2019) <> accessed 26 May 2021
  11. National Human Rights Commission, “Child Rights” (NHRC) <> accessed 26 May 2021
  12. “States That Have Passed the Child’s Right Law In Nigeria” (PartnersGlobal) <> accessed 26 May 2021.
  13. Abubakar Ahmadu Maishanu, “Eight years after, Jigawa Assembly reintroduces repealed child protection law” (PremiumTimes, 8 September 2020) <> accessed 30 May 2021
  14. Nike Adebowale, “UPDATED: 11 states in northern Nigeria yet to pass child rights law — UNICEF Official” (PremiumTimes, 11 May 2019) <> accessed 30 May 2021
  15. Aderemi Ojekunle, “It’s Not Freedom For Women in Nigeria as 23 States Hold Back Signing on the Violence Against Persons (Prohibition) Act” (Dataphyte, 15 June 2020) <> accessed 30 May 2021
  16. Segun Awofadeji, “Non – domestication of The Child Rights Act By 11 Northern States Worries UNICEF” (ThisDay Newspaper, 24 November 2020) < > accessed 26 May 2021.
  17. Femi Bolaji, “Urges Adamawa, Bauchi, Gombe to domesticate Child Rights Act” (Vanguard Newspaper, 16 June 2020) < > accessed 26 May  2021.
  18. NAN, “Child rape ‘becoming alarming’ in Gombe – Human Rights Commission” (Premium Times, 19 October 2019) < > accessed 26 May  2021. 
  19. Deji Elumoye, “Adamawa, Bauchi, Gombe, 8 Other States Reject Child Rights Act, Says Minister” (ThisDay Newspaper, 15 October 2020) < > accessed 21 May 2021. 
  20. Onyekachi Umah, “Every Child has Right to a Rest and Play” (, 27 May 2021) <> accessed 30 May 2021
  21. Onyekachi Umah, “Child Marriage/Abuse Is A Crime (Rape): An Exposé On Laws Prohibiting Child Marriage” (, 22 June 2020) < > accessed 20 April 2021
  22. Onyekachi Umah, “Forced Marriage Is An Offence In Nigeria.” (, 21 October 2020) < > accessed 20 April 2021
  23. Onyekachi Umah, “An Alternative to Courts for Human Rights Cases” (, 14 May 2021) <> accessed 23 May 2021. 
  24. Onyekachi Umah, “Stripping Suspects Naked is Torture and it’s a Crime” (, 16 February 2021) <https:// 1 National Human Rights Commission, ‘State Offices” (NHRC) < > accessed 27 October 2020
  25. Onyekachi Umah, “Details of State Offices of National Human Rights Commission” (, 27 October 2020) <> accessed 14 May 2021
  26. Onyekachi Umah, “Does The President/Governors Have Powers To Lockdown Any Part Of Nigeria Or Restrict Human Rights?” (, 1 October 2020) < > accessed 14 May 2021
  27. Onyekachi Umah, “Human Rights That Can Never Be Restricted Even In War, Pandemic or State of Emergency (Daily Law Tips [Tip 539]) <> accessed 14 May 2021
  28. Onyekachi Umah, “States & Areas Offices of Public Complaints Commission” (, 20 November 2020) <> accessed 14 May 2021
  29. Onyekachi Umah, “Complaints That The Public Complaints Commission Can Handle” (com, 30 October 2020) <> accessed 14 May 2021
  30. Stephen Ubimago, ‘Legal Aid Council: Facing Challenge Of Relevance Amid Poor Funding’ (Independent, 27 October 2020) < > accessed 14 May 2021
  31. Onyekachi Umah, “Abandonment Of Wife/Husband, Children Or Dependants Is A Crime” (, 3 December 2019) <> accessed 20 April 2021
  32. Onyekachi Umah, “How Lagos State Is Legislatively Ahead Of Other States” (, 30 September 2020 < > accessed 20 April  2021
  33. Onyekachi Umah, “The First Virtual Court Hearing Was In Borno State And Not In Lagos State.” (, 1 June 2020) < > accessed 20 April 2021
  34. Onyekachi Umah, “Emotional, Verbal And Psychological Abuse Is Now Criminal Offences” (, 3 September 2019) <> accessed 28 April 2021
  35. Onyekachi Umah, “Forcing Wife to Stop Work is Now A Crime” (, 21 April 2021) <> accessed 26 April 2021
  36. Onyekachi Umah, “It Is Now An Offence To Force Wife/Husband To Stop Working” (, 28 May 2019) <> accessed 20 April 2021
  37. Onyekachi Umah, “Seizing or Destroying the Property of a Spouse is a Crime” (, 2 March 2021) <> accessed 20 April 2021
  38. Onyekachi Umah, “Hiding/Concealing Domestic Violence Is A Crime” (, 11 December 2020) <> accessed 20 April 2021
  39. Onyekachi Umah, “Domestic Violence Is A Crime Not A Family Dispute” (, 10 December 2020) < > accessed 20 April 2021
  40. Onyekachi Umah, “Why Lagos State Needs A VAPP/SGBV Law” (, 26 January 2021) <> accessed 20 April 2021
  41. Onyekachi Umah, “Lagos State Has No VAPP/SGBV Law !” (, 8 December 2020) <> accessed 20 April 2021
  42. Onyekachi Umah, “An Access To Criminal Laws In Nigeria” (, 4 December 2020) < > accessed 20 April 2021
  43. Onyekachi Umah, “8 New Things About Rape Laws In Nigeria” (, 3 December 2020) < > accessed 20 April 2021
  44. Onyekachi Umah, “ChannelsTv Interviews Onyekachi Umah on Rape and the Laws.” (, 20 November 2020) < > accessed 20 April 2021
  45. Onyekachi Umah, “Can A Woman Be Charged With Rape” (, 24 June 2020) < > accessed 20 April 2021
  46. Onyekachi Umah, “Can A Husband Rape His Wife” (, 19 June 2020) < > accessed 20 April 2021
  47. Onyekachi Umah, “When Is Seduction Or Indecent Dressing A Justification For Rape In Nigeria?” (, 18 June 2020) < > accessed 20 April 2021
  48. Onyekachi Umah, “New Punishment For Rape In Nigeria” (, 23 June 2020) < > accessed 20 April 2021
  49. Onyekachi Umah, “Rape Cannot Be Settled Out Of Court (No Room For Pay-Off/Forgiveness/Withdrawal Of Complaints” (,26 June 2020) < > accessed 20 April 2021
  50. Onyekachi Umah, “A Female Too, Can BE Guilty Of Rape” (, 13 December 2018) < > accessed 20 April 2021
  51. Onyekachi Umah, “Ages At Which Sexual Intercourse With Consent Will Amount To Rape” (, 20 February 2020) <> accessed 20 April 2021
  52. Onyekachi Umah, “How To Prove Rape In Nigeria).” (, 2 July 2019) < > accessed 20 April 2021
  53. Onyekachi Umah, “Can a Married Woman Inherit Her Parents’ Property?”, (, 27 March 2020) < > accessed 20 April 2021
  54. Onyekachi Umah, “Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting/Elongation, Breasts Ironing And Forced Marriage Are Now Criminal Offences In Nigeria” (Daily Law Tips [443]) < > accessed 20 April 2021
  55. Onyekachi Umah, “Harmful Widowhood Practices (Traditions) Are Illegal In Nigeria” (Daily Law Tips [Tip 589]) < > accessed 20 April 2021
  56. Onyekachi Umah, “Forceful Isolation/Separation Of Family Members/Friends Is Now An Offence In Nigeria” (Daily Law Tips [356]) < > accessed 120 April 2021
  57. Onyekachi Umah, “Abolished Anti-Women Custom of Onitsha People of Anambra State, Nigeria” (LearnNigerianLaws, 10 March 2020) < > accessed 20 April 2021
  58. Onyekachi Umah, “Citizen By Marriage Is Discriminatory and Against Nigerian Women”, (, 14 September 2020) < > accessed 20 April 2021
  59. Onyekachi Umah, “Abolished Anti-Women Custom of Yoruba People of Nigeria”, (, 11 March 2020) < > accessed 20 April 2021
  60. Onyekachi Umah, “Can a Married Woman Inherit Her Parents Property?” (, 27 March 2020) < > accessed 20 April 2021
  61. Onyekachi Umah, “Approval For Marriage Of Female Officers/Staff Is Unconstitutional and Discriminatory”, (, 23 September 2020) < > accessed 20 April 2021
  62. Onyekachi Umah, “It Is An Offence To Chase Out Wife/Husband From A Home Or Even Attempt To Do So” (, 17 May 2019) <> accessed 20 April 2021
  63. Onyekachi Umah, “Examining Brutalization of House Helps in Nigeria. (An Exposé on Anti-Cruel Labour Laws in Nigeria)” (, 3 August 2020) <> accessed 27 April 2021
  64. Pic Credit: <>

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